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National Geographic's Strange Days on Planet Earth
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Why Others Care

Since humanity first started moving long distance across the planet, we have been confronting problems with invasive species. This pressing issue however, wasn't seriously acknowledged until the early 1990s when the US Congress Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) published a fact-packed 397-page document entitled Harmful Non-Indigenous Species in the United States. Off-site Link

If you're interested in tracking the recent history of the invasive species issue in the United States, this OTA document is a great read. This document also succeeded in catalyzing some of the country's top scientists to dedicate their careers to this vital topic.

Commemorating the tenth anniversary of the OTA publication, more than 750 renowned invasive species scientists gathered together in 2003 and published a follow up Call to Action in 2003. In this powerful statement, the scientists along with 100 citizens groups declare that invasive species remain one of today's top threats to both the nation and the world:

"Invasive species threaten the productivity of the soils and waters upon which we — and our economies — depend. They endanger the conservation gains of the past century and they imperil the native species that make the United States unique. In sum, the devastation caused by non-native, invasive organisms is one of the most serious and least-recognized tragedies of our time."

For more information see Scientists Demand Action on Invasive Species. Off-site Link

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